not all change is progress
October 27, 2014
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
GALPon MiniNo – GhostBSD – 10 years of UbuntuIntro
Joe isn’t too impressed with his Omate smartwatch, but Jesse is happy with his retrofitted Galaxy S3 wireless charger. We also mentioned the panel discussion at OggCamp, and a photo of your hosts taken whilst there.
Pant-Wettingly Exciting Launches
New Nexi and Lollipop, the latter bringing easier beaming and more lockdown
Apple’s iPad launch was all about dog-whistle computing
Apple’s Real iPad Surprise: A SIM Card That Lets Users Swap Data Plans
FYI: OS X Yosemite’s Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you’re looking for (oh, hello Ubuntu)
Other Software Launches
LXQt 0.8.0 released
Emacs 24.4 released
Send videos from Firefox for Android to your TV
Google introduced Gmail USB security key
Poodle (further technical details)
anonabox : a Tor hardware router (controversy, death and alternatives)
Back to the Future
Munich sheds light on the cost of dropping Linux and returning to Windows
The Debian init system general resolution returns and dubious plans (who are these Veteran Unix Admins?)
Debian Now Defaults To Xfce On Non-x86 Desktops
Google backtrack on removing ext2/3/4 support from ChromeOS
Chromebook shipments leap by 67 percent
Don’t have any coding skills, but want to help out the FOSS community?
1:08:34 First Impressions
Joe finally got to give us his impressions of GALPon MiniNo, whilst Jesse was handed LegacyOS for next time.
A huge thank you to kevie for the Flattr, and to our regular Monthly Supporters for their PayPal donations. If you’d like to help keep the podcast on the road, or just say thanks for the value we try to bring you, head on over to our support page.
Thanks to SonOfNed, JL and Don Henderson for your emails; and especially to Glen Skiner who gave us some good feedback on the show. And thanks to Joel, Mitlik, Reto, and Russell Dickenson for your comments on our website, and to everyone on Twitter and Google Plus.
Following our recent discussions about BadUSB, Nathan D Smith got in touch with an anecdote illustrating how USB devices can be subverted even to fairly trivial ends.
Picking up on Paddy’s off-the-cuff comments about encrypted web traffic, JonTheNiceGuy Spriggs and SonOfNed sought some clarification. Check out the comments on our last show for an enlightening talk by Moxie Marlinspike, and to chip in.
Frames got in touch regarding Guix, and to (sadly) agree that the graphics performance of recent versions of Windows can actually be rather good.
We had a really positive response to our interview last time with Martin Wimpress of the Ubuntu MATE project, and chose to read out a post from Mikael Inscius which was indicative of all the nice things that everyone had said.
And, finally, the winner of our exclusive Ubuntu MATE developer team T-shirt give-away was Ludovico Magnocavallo. Congratulations to Ludo, and the T-shirt is in the post.
Can you make BSD as approachable to desktop users as many Linux distros now are? We took a look at GhostBSD, which is aiming to do just that.
Jesse mentioned BSD Now several times during the conversation, and it is a good resource for anyone interested in the BSD operating systems.
2:01:22 Over a Pint
Whilst this show marked the first anniversary of Linux Luddites, we graciously focused our reminiscences elsewhere, and chewed some Ubuntu fat. Much has changed in the 10 years since Warty came along, and the focus of Canonical has clearly shifted dramatically since those days. With 14.10 offering few new features, and the company obsessing over convergence and Unity 8, we wondered what has Ubuntu done for us?
I haven’t listened to the whole show yet, but in terms of what will compel mobile users to upgrade hardware, I think that the only thing that will prompt a mass hardware migration will be super-high-speed data service — 5g, 6g, or whatever they call it. But if they can somehow squeeze 10x the current bandwidth over the cell network, that will keep both the carriers and handset providers going for the next five years.
I am not quite sure on this one but I am a long user of Ubuntu since the feisty days but apple’s yosemite spotlight I think came from Alfred an apple application.
I haven’t listened to this week’s show yet, but I have been going back through the first episodes from before I started listening and I just listened to the ones about Paddy’s server blog posts. I looked up the posts (I found two – I think that’s all there is?) and read them. I learned several helpful things from — I set up a back up machine at home a year ago (an eeePC nettop with an external hard drive running sshd with Debian).
I knew about the ssh configuration but I had not thought about setting up a script to log the package list in a way that could be reinstalled easily. I also did not know about the firewall configuration or rootkit hunter. I will look into following Paddy’s advice on both of those (my machine is behind my router — I configured the router to let port 22 through to it and turned off password authentication in ssh, so I think it has been okay without the firewall rules but they still seem like good practice).
Will Paddy write more posts? I was curious to see how to set up email notifications. I just log in and use mail on the command line right now. I would recommend making those posts easier to find if you plan to do more – like giving them a separate category from the show posts and having a link to that category under Main Links. I had to page back through all of the old show notes to find them.
Hi Will – pleased that you found the posts helpful. I feel kind of guilty that there aren’t more, as I’d mentally planned out a whole series. Sadly, real life intervened, and I haven’t had the time to write additional ones (properly fact checking and walking through every process is surprisingly time consuming, plus there’s the fact that I originally wrote these for Wheezy, which will shortly be superseded…)
And that’s also the reason that they are hard to find; unless/until I do find the time to write some more, I didn’t want to give folks the expectation that that would be happening by keeping them easily accessible :(
Thanks for not celebrating your anniversary episode by cutting it short and disappearing down to the pub :-)
Really enjoyed the look at Ghost BSD. I’ve long been interested in seeing a robust desktop emerge on a BSD, but like Joe and Steven Rosenberg, my attempt to install PC-BSD a few years back was an exercise in frustration. It’s nice to hear that so much progress has been made on some BSD desktop options over the past few years. I still wonder about how limiting the driver support for desktop h/w, and lack of availability of certain key desktop proprietary software (e.g. Skype) would prove to be if one were to really try to live on a BSD desktop, but it sounds like a BSD desktop may now be feasible for some depending on their specific use case.
I also followed the ‘anonabox’ Tor Appliance Kickstarter with great interest. Like Paddy, I saw the spike in the Kickstarter funding as confirmation of a real consumer market for Internet anti-survillence products. Despite the shutdown of the Kickstarter campaign, I’m hoping that the media attention stimulates more investment in that market space.
I was a little surprised however that I never saw any media mention of the fact that the anonabox appeared to be a knock off of an existing Tor Appliance that’s been on the market for almost a year now, the SafePlug: http://linuxgizmos.com/linux-based-tor-device-protects-internet-identity/
The SafePlug is a product from an established company that previously marketed the PogoPlug embedded home server appliance for the past few years: https://pogoplug.com/safeplug Too bad the media couldn’t connect all that consumer interest with an established vendor that’s already shipping a near identical product.
The Omate TrueSmart is a terrible representation of smart watches, it’s no surprise that you didn’t like it. It shouldn’t even be classified as a smart watch, it should be called a phone-that-you-strap-to-your-wrist.
Also, the Moto X 2014 is on sale on your side of the pond: http://www.androidcentral.com/moto-x-sale-uk-extended-until-october-30
Hi Joel, thanks for the heads up – I’m now going to spend as long saving up for it and justifying the outlay as I am designing my custom phone!
Concerning a lot of the Ubuntu negativity I have one remark. There is no point in having freedom of choice if everybody is doing the same thing. There are at least 4 big distro’s delivering what you want Ubuntu to be.
I am 15 years in Linux, and Unity is by far the best DE I have ever used. It is consistent, stable, had great touch support, scales well on HiDPI, has HUD, and it actually renders fonts well on all webpages you throw at it. I feel it is ahead of the alternatives for my usage at well as most of my family (which make quite a diverse group).
If Canonical succeeds in delivering a brand new, full-featered, FOSS, Linux based OS on phones and tablets by the end of December, then I consider this the biggest achievement/contribution of any distribution to the consumer area over the past 10 years. Just imagine the possibilities this will bring. I’d embrace it instead of focusing on the fact it is not there yet (as are many other projects in FOSS including LXQT and Lumina) or reconfirming over and over again how horrible you find Unity.
And for the record: I don’t think Canonical can pull this of or have commercial success in it.
I realise we ended up being a bit negative in the discussion – and this is probably because we wandered down the route of the phone/tablet/unity rather than remembering the major benefits Ubuntu has brought us. I remembered afterwards that I wanted to make the point that whenever we review a distro we always compare the installer to ubiquity. It seems to be the standard by which others are measured, and I’m sure there are other areas where Ubuntu is still the leader, it becomes difficult to see when they are so mobile focussed, as they are at the moment, and the desktop becomes a second rate citizen. I say this with confidence following Popey’s talk at Oggcamp, on the state of the Ubuntu phone, in which he admitted as much.
First: I appreciate the constructive reply, I have seen different in the world of Linux :)
And just to be clear: while I think the current state of Unity/Ubuntu allows them to try something different and should not be forgotten too easily, I truly agree that there is currently no focus on the desktop. If Unity starts trailing behind, I too will look for alternatives.
I have to admit I’m waiting excitedly for the final release of Elementary – having used V2 I have high hopes for V3 (Freya). It’ll be a battle between that and Mint 17.1 (with new Cinnamon) for my desktop space.
Hi guys —
LOVE the show. Not only are you folks knowlegable and informative, you’re just nice guys to spend an hour with. You’ve made my life a little brighter (no exaggeration) with the best technology, let alone Linux podcast.
I’m a new listener, slowly going through the archive, so forgive me if this has been raised already, but have you covered Scientific Linux? Its a Fermi-lab supported RHEL derived distro, with ten year support. Yes, ten years. True, it runs the relatively ancient 2.6.x kernel, but has extensive RHEL backfixes and lots of hardware support.
If I can’t bail out to BSD when, not if, System D makes pretty much every non RHEL distro go belly up — the likelihood of everything NOT breaking touching not just init but desktop environments, sound, video, wireless drivers, etc is pretty close to zero outside RHEL which will I’m sure work like clockwork because lots and lots of coders and testers will be thrown at it, lacking at Debian and Ubuntu and Mint and Arch etc. — I’ve thought about going to Scientific Linux.
FWIW, I ran FreeBSD on an ancient Dell laptop, I think it was a first generation Pentium, FreeBSD was the only thing that would actually load on the beast which dated from IIRC, 1997 or so. It was an ungodly thing, but it worked. Wifi was all command line, but did indeed work. The documentation was excellent, the best I’ve ever seen.
I think one of the BSD’s offering greater Linux compatibility, to the point where users can simply install a Debian or RPM package and things work, will win a lot of the System D debacle refugees. I for instance have a couple of wireless Epson printers, wonderful (and actually easier to configure with Linux than Mac OSX or Windows) that are totally unsupported in BSD but work great with vendor support in Linux. The same is true for Celtx, and other specialty software that offers Linux but not BSD support.
At any rate, thanks for the show guys. I always learn something new.
Regarding your foray into the world of BSD, setting up and maintaining a BSD system, especially on the desktop, can be a lot more work than Linux.
But if you are a hobbyist or are compelled to run your computer in a different way — and I think to some extent we all are — then all of this setup and maintenance is part of the hobby. Or it feeds your compulsion to have a certain kind of system with a certain kind of freedom (and at this point a certain kind of init system).
If you are having problems with Linux, either philosophically or technically, then BSD is there. But it is certainly different and can be hard.
As you alluded to, updating can be difficult. More than once I was tripped up by the different update processes in FreeBSD for the base system, the packages and the ports. There’s nothing like doing a ports upgrade that takes multiple DAYS to complete. Not fun.
As you also mentioned, what the BSD desktop needs to get better is a whole lot more people using it and working on it.
For me, anyway, I’ve always been more driven to run OpenBSD rather than FreeBSD. OpenBSD just appealed to me more. The security, the development model and the stability — all are great. But in the long run, there are too many things I want and need to do that are relatively easy to do in Linux but either extremely difficult to impossible to do in OpenBSD.
But now with HTML5 video maybe the road is a bit easier.
That’s not saying I won’t give OpenBSD another try. I did try to load up 5.5 on my current laptop. The kernel panicked when I started X. Maybe 5.6 will treat recent AMD video a bit better.
So to some extent, getting a system up and running is fun from a hobbyist’s perspective. But the stars have to align a whole lot more than they do in Linux to get things to the point where you can do what you wish with your hardware and software.
Two factor authenticators with hardware/software combo is great and should be the default. I was using a physical key/software password at a Medical student in NYC. This was in 2000, the New York City healthcare system this setup as there signin. WIthout the corrected combination of key and password there was not access. Further more after 3 attempts you key became invalid and had to be reset. Getting your key reset was a pain and there was a steep cost to replacing a lost key.
I am curious to know what you use to record, edit, and produce the show. Would you please share your workflow?
We record ourselves locally in Audacity and then they send me flac files which I then sync, edit and add the music etc.
Thanks for your quick reply.
I would really appreciate some more details, if you can spare just a bit more time.
Here are some example questions for the kinds of things I’d be curious about…
I think you’ve said before on the show that you do a
conference via Skype, and possibly changed to Google
Hangouts – I don’t really recall the details. Anyway, did
you folks have to do any configuration in order to record
the audio while simultaneously using the audio via the
teleconference program (Skype/browser/etc)?
Do you do audio routing via ALSA? Pulse? JACK?
For each recording, how do you record only the speaker without hearing the other parties?
While recording, do you use tags/comments to easily keep track of show sections and/or portions that will need to be edited out?
What software do you use to edit & produce?
What kinds of processing do you do on the tracks?
– It sounds like at least a noise gate, maybe only on Paddy’s?
– Normalizing and EQ?
– What about panning / 3-d spatialization?
Do you use compression and/or a limiter to boost the
– Do you do this on each track or on the master bus?
We have tried various communication methods and have settled on Skype as it has the best audio quality. We sometimes use Mumble when a guest requests it.
Recording is just a case of opening Audacity while we are on a conference call and pressing record. We don’t need to configure anything as by default in distros like Xubuntu and Mint, pulse sends only your mic to the input of Audacity. It’s very much plug and play.
We use a document in Drive to plan the show in advance and follow it throughout the show. If we want to edit something out we just say so on the recording to remind me when I’m editing.
I use an effects chain of eq (to remove booming frequencies below about 80), compression, noise reduction (on Paddy and Jesse’s tracks) and a noise gate.
Once it’s mixed I also put a limiter on the whole thing. It’s all totally mono as most podcasts should be imo.
Thank you, very much!
I can come round to your house and show you how it’s done in person for a one off fee of £7999.99.
Actually, I would like to make you the same offer. I could show you how to get up and running on Linux. :)
In keeping with the BSD theme of this episode, I attended the 2014 MeetBSD Conference last week. The fact that it was held about 20 miles from my home was also a factor :-).
Although my *nix exposure to date has primarily been to the AT&T SVR4 commercial variants ‘back in the day’, and then Linux Distros, I found the BSD conference to be highly enjoyable. The event was primarily focused on FreeBSD and was much more contemporary and informative then I was expecting. My biggest take-away was the impression that the depth and the passion of the BSD user and developer community is very much under represented in the media and internet ‘mind-share’. I found much that appealed to my ‘Luddite’ sensibilities.
I’m hoping to have some time over the next week or so to share more summaries of the event.
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